Gems GEM Token: Decentralized Blockchain Mechanical Turk Coin?

Gems is a “decentralized mechanical turk” powered by Ethereum. The alpha is available online today. Let’s take a closer look at how Gems works.

How Does Gems Work?

Gems, found online at, is a protocol for contracting workers to perform micro tasks. With, workers can stake tokens to prove validity of their tasks, then earn a reusable computed trust score, thereby enhancing the cost efficiency of the network while democratizing access to scalable micro task workers.

The platform was created by Rory O’Reilly and Kieran O’Reilly. A whitepaper for Gems appeared online at in November 2017.

The goal of Gems is to create a better micro tasks ecosystem. Micro tasks are small tasks that require human judgement. These tasks can typically be completed independently over the internet, and are part of a larger unified project. Micro tasks aid organizations that need humans to complete tasks computers otherwise cannot do.

The phrase “mechanical turk”, by the way, comes from Amazon. In 2005, the company created the Amazon Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, an online marketplace where requesters can crowdsource data collection by paying workers to perform micro tasks online.

What Problems Does Gems Seek To Solve?

Today, mechanical turk platforms are centralized solutions that offer subpar conditions for workers. Amazon’s MTurk marketplace, for example, charges requesters (the people paying for jobs) a minimum 20% fee on any amount paid to workers, along with an additional 5% for requesting workers that have a good track record.

Furthermore, tasks with 10 or more assignments are charged an additional 20% fee, which means users end up paying 40% in total fees.

Over half of MTurkers reportedly earn less than $5 per hour.

Additionally, MTurk services like Crowdflower requires a $3000 onboarding fee and a continuous subscription of $1500 per month.

Ultimately, centralized platforms like MTurk charge high fees, take a large cut, and provide subpar service. These are problems that Gems seeks to solve.

How Does Gems Work?

Gems solves the above problems by introducing a decentralized, open-sourced, human task crowdsourcing protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain.

Using the Gems Protocol, anyone can tap into the power of scalable micro task workers without needing to worry about task verification, trust, or payments.

Gems can disincentive malicious actors and reward fair players. There’s a staking mechanism to ensure task completion, for example, and a trust mechanism to track worker integrity.

The payment system is also designed to sharply reduce transaction fees. The GEM token is a multi-utility token used for transactions across Gems.

The goal of Gems is to connect those who want work done (known as “requesters”) and human workers (known as “miners”). The Gems Protocol connects these two parties over the Gems Platform.

The key goals of Gems include:

  • Removing the middleman without taking a large fee
  • Verifying the accuracy of results from crowdsourced tasks
  • Supplying and building reusable interfaces
  • Removing the need for existing banking infrastructure
  • Properly incentivizing and disincentivizing miners and requesters

Gems Mechanical Turk Coin Features

Gems features include all of the following:

Gems Staking Mechanism:

The staking mechanism provides disincentive for malicious actors, enhancing the efficiency of the Gems Network. Using the Gems staking mechanism and Ethereum smart contracts, all parties (miners, requesters, and verifiers) stake tokens on the validity of their work and against the validity of others’ work. This creates a palpable disincentive for doing tasks incorrectly.

Gems Trust Score:

The Gems Trust Score is a built-in reputation system on the Gems platform. It’s an indicator of how reliable an individual on the network is perceived to be. The reputation is based on the individual’s history of completing tasks accurately, efficiently, and consistently.

Gems Platform And Modules:

The Gems Platform is the first application that uses the Gems Protocol. The Gems Platform is a marketplace that matches requesters and miners together. The platform charges no central fees, and it utilizes the GEM token and the Gems Protocol to eliminate economic inefficiencies in today’s marketplace.

Gems Payment System:

The Gems payment system allows for micro payments and staking without gas (gas pays for the transaction fees on the Ethereum network). Using the GEM token, the Gems payment system creates payment channels for secure off-chain payments without the use of gas. These payments are grouped together to be added to the blockchain at a later date.

Who’s Behind Gems?

Gems is led by co-founders Rory O’Reilly and Kieran O’Reilly. Rory studied psychology and economics at Harvard University, then left Harvard in 2014 to co-found Rory is a Thiel Fellow and a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient for his expertise in consumer technology. Kieran, meanwhile, studied computer science at Harvard and also co-founded is a video editing and artificial intelligence company with clients like Google and Netflix. Kieran was also recognized by Forbes in their 30 Under 30 list and is also a Thiel Fellow.

Advisors for Gems include Biz Stone (the co-founder of Twitter and Medium), Joey Krug (the co-founder of Augur), and Ben Maurer (the co-founder of reCAPTCHA). Conclusion

An alpha version of the Gems platform is already available online today at:

The long-term goal of Gems is to create a decentralized marketplace where multiple parties can interact to complete micro tasks. Users can request tasks through the platform, while other users can complete tasks. The platform emphasizes lower payments and a more seamless transaction experience than existing platforms like Amazon’s MTurk.

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